Dietary intake of carbohydrates in pregnant women with type 1 diabetes — A narrative review

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In pregnant women with type 1 diabetes, a low but sufficient, intake of carbohydrates is important to aim for near normal glycemic control. However, knowledge about the carbohydrate intake in this group is limited. To assess the average quantity and quality of carbohydrate intake in pregnant women with type 1diabetes compared to healthy pregnant women and current dietary reference intakes. A narrative literature search was performed in PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library and by using a snow-ball search technique to identify papers published on studies conducted in industrialized countries within the last 20 years. Intakes of carbohydrate were assessed qualitatively in relation to the Dietary Reference Intakes recommended by the American Diabetes Association and quantitatively as mean intake of dietary fiber. Five observational studies including 810 pregnant women with type 1 diabetes and 15 observational studies with a total of 118,246 healthy pregnant women were identified. The mean total carbohydrate intake was within the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (45%–64% of energy intake) in both groups. In pregnant women with type 1 diabetes, the average total intake was 218 ± 19 g/day, which was 20% (53 g/day) lower than in healthy pregnant women. Mean intake of dietary fiber in women with diabetes was lower than the recommended adequate intake for healthy women. With the limitations of pronounced heterogeneity across the included studies, pregnant women with type 1 diabetes reported a mean total carbohydrate intake, which was lower than in healthy pregnant women but still within the recommended range.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Science & Nutrition
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Carbohydrate quality, Carbohydrate quantity, Dietary reference intake, Pregnancy

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